31 | she helped me see #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” (Luke 18:42)

Henrietta could be voluble at home and in her neighbourhood but was loath to say much in the classroom. Once, as I tried to converse with her, only to encounter long stretches of silence or, at best, monosyllabic replies to my increasingly coaxing questions, she decided abruptly to set me straight: “I’m not a good student, so I keep my mouth shut here in school!” Continue reading “31 | she helped me see #Lent2022”

30 | i’ll take over now #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Truly, I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)

One of the exercises I did with teenage students was one where, on the walk with Jesus, the student and Jesus passed by four people. They passed by a person who was injured, a person who was excluded, a person who was ill and a person who was lonely. It tied in with the theme of the day, which was ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Continue reading “30 | i’ll take over now #Lent2022”

6 | I wouldn’t pull the trigger #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

When I was younger, I remember waking up early with dad to play one of my favourite games at the time, Battlefront 2 on the X-Box. For context, Battlefront 2 is a shooter game set in the Star Wars universe, and my family are diehard Star Wars fans. But that isn’t the point, the point is when I was playing the game I stumbled across an interesting situation. I had crouched down in a bush with a teammate, and suddenly a storm trooper (the bad guys) had found our hiding spot. He crouched down and shot my teammate, and then aimed at me. Continue reading “6 | I wouldn’t pull the trigger #Lent2022”

5 | pretending #Lent2022

James writes, “Do you suppose it is for nothing that the scripture says, ‘God yearns jealously for the spirit that she has made to dwell in us?’ But she gives all the more grace, therefore it says ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God.” (James 4:5-7)

Sometimes I am too proud. My girls ask me to play hide and seek, and I demur. I’m too dignified to crawl under a bed; I’m too big to stuff my body into a cupboard; I’m too intelligent to pretend not to see them as they hide with one leg sticking out. Anyway, I have better things to do. Continue reading “5 | pretending #Lent2022”

4 | the least I can do #Lent2022

John writes, “Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you do for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers … You do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ.” (3 John 1:5)

There were only three public high schools for black children in the entire state of Florida, but there were several private church-supported schools, the nearest to Daytona Beach being Florida Baptist Academy of Jacksonville. A cousin who lived in Jacksonville told my mother that if I enrolled in the academy, I could live with him and his wife, doing chores around the house in exchange for a room and one meal a day. Continue reading “4 | the least I can do #Lent2022”

3 | asterisks and gentleness #Lent2022

Paul writes, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

When lockdown was announced in 2020 and we were watching the news reports with concern and then horror at the deaths in the Northern Hemisphere, I also noticed there was for me a little excitement, as in, “Okay, kids, this is how we handle tough times. Watch me!” Continue reading “3 | asterisks and gentleness #Lent2022”

1 | like children #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-3)

When I taught the fruits of the spirit to children I realised that faithfulness and goodness were difficult to explain. We thought that faithfulness was like integrity, and that goodness was when you are able to do the right thing, even when no one else knows. We drew pictures of ourselves doing things that were kind and loving and hid them under a lift-the-flap. Continue reading “1 | like children #Lent2022”

Jeremiah | The gift of God’s words in a world turned upside down

Like Jeremiah, we are all given God’s words to comfort, challenge and console. A reflection for back-to-school Sunday. (Listen.)

Over the last two years, our world has been turned upside down. We used to meet inside the building for church, but last week we were on Zoom; and this week here we, worshipping in the garden. We used to leave the house for school and work; but during the many months of lockdowns, most of us learned to work and study from home. Continue reading “Jeremiah | The gift of God’s words in a world turned upside down”

Luke | A story of family

In Luke’s account, Jesus is born into an ever-expanding family into which we are all invited. (Listen.)

A baby is born in a little village, it doesn’t matter where. The women attending send out word, and soon a line is forming at the door. One by one, every member of the village, and every visitor to the village, and every traveller passing through, comes inside and greets the newborn. They introduce themselves to the baby, and they welcome the baby into the world. Continue reading “Luke | A story of family”

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